Special Features

Defining Family

Published

Photo courtesy tiffany terry via Flickr

Many a poet has written that blood is thicker than water. But today, blood and DNA do not necessarily define a family. The following essayists agree with Maya Angelou, who said “family isn’t always blood . . . it’s the ones who love you no matter what.”

  1. My Family Tree
  2. The People Who Love You When No One Else Will
  3. Making Family a Verb
  4. The Blessings of Step
  5. Simple Love Fosters a Family

Hard Work

Published

Photo by C. Frank Starmer

Hard work can result in the completion of assigned tasks, a steady paycheck, a way to fill time or the simple satisfaction of a job well done. And like many other things in life, work can inspire belief. In honor of Labor Day, click the links below to learn what these essayists believe about their work.

  1. Work Is A Blessing
  2. Leaving Work to Gaze at Sunsets
  3. Living What You Do Every Day
  4. Do What You Love
  5. A Goal Of Service To Humankind

Our Brother’s Keeper

Published

Photo illustration by Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr

Many of the world’s religions teach the importance of caring for each other, whether it’s tending to a close family member or showing compassion for a complete stranger. Click the links below to read how these essayists explore the simple acts of kindness that can enrich our own humanity.

  1. A Calling We Should Heed
  2. Being My Brother’s Keeper
  3. Only A Little Less Than Angels
  4. A Journey Across America
  5. Kindness Equals Survival

Water

Published

Photo by Joe Dyer via Flickr

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Water understands civilization well,” but how well do we understand water? Until we travel to other parts of the world or experience a drought or water main break, we tend to take water for granted. Take a moment to appreciate the importance of water by reading the thoughts of these essayists.

  1. The Last Drop of Water
  2. Navigating Turbulent Waters
  3. A Delicate Balance
  4. With Brown Shoes to Match
  5. A Drop in the Bucket

What’s in a Hug?

Published

Photo by lostintheredwoods via Flickr

When we share a hug with another person, we may not think about just how much it means. More than a quick handshake or saying “hello,” a hug conveys affection, acceptance, or empathy without saying a word. Click the links below to read how these essayists feel about the meaning behind a hug.

  1. A Healing Hug
  2. Hug It Out
  3. Grace Is a Gift
  4. First Friend
  5. The Power of Holding On

Laughter

Published

Photo by craigallyn via Flickr

When is the last time you laughed? Really laughed? Were you watching a funny movie or listening to a great joke? Sometimes a good laugh comes during times of happiness and light, and sometimes it is most welcome during dark times. Read the essays below to find how these people discovered a belief in laughter.

  1. Follow the Laughter
  2. Life Is Wonderfully Ridiculous
  3. A Personalized Laugh Track
  4. Find a Reason to Laugh
  5. The Many Gifts of Laughter

Summertime

Published

Photo by Peter Roome via Flickr

The long, lazy days of summer are a paradise for the young and the young at heart. From hanging out with friends, to summer jobs, to summer camp, it’s a time to explore, have fun, and maybe create a little mischief. Click the links below to read what these teens (and a few adults recalling their youth) think about the magic of summer.

  1. The Endless Possibilities of Summer
  2. An Escape from Normal Life
  3. Going Barefoot
  4. Summer Camp
  5. The Constant Gold of Summer

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Published

Photo credit: Library of Congress

When the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their belief that all human beings are born with the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many essayists for This I Believe share that dedication to the principles on which our country was created. Click the links below to see how these essayists explore their beliefs in freedom, democracy, and liberty.

  1. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
  2. Proud of My Country
  3. A Public Man
  4. The America I Believe In
  5. The Pursuit of Happiness

Simply Say Hello

Published

Photo credit: André Benedix via Flickr

It’s a very simple greeting, a way to break the ice, or a way to acknowledge someone’s humanity. With what other word can we do so much? Click the links below to learn what these essayists have found about the importance of saying “hello.”

  1. The Power of Hello
  2. Saying Hi
  3. Every Person Deserves Respect
  4. Hello Is as Easy as Moving Mountains
  5. The Importance of Greetings
  6. Sawubona

Father’s Day

Published

Photo credit Wade Brooks via flickr

For this Father’s Day, we offer the following selection of essays about fatherhood—from being a father, to the relationship with our fathers. Click the links below to learn how these essayists have been inspired by the diverse range of experiences related to the father-child relationship. You can find these and other essays celebrating dads in our book, This I Believe: On Fatherhood.

  1. Appreciating the Moment
  2. The Choice to Do It Over Again
  3. When Angels Miss
  4. Finding a Different Way
  5. A Love Beyond Boundaries